Business Law Guide to the Czech Republic

Article excerpt

Business Law Guide to the Czech Republic, by Jennie Mills, David Roach, and Ian Rowbotham. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: CCH Europe, 1994. Pp. 329. $113.00 (hardcover).

Following the demise of the communist regime, Eastern European markets have opened themselves to foreign companies. Businessmen, however, must beware. While much scholarship addresses how to correct the effects of over forty years of communism, not all of the work is of the highest quality. Although the Czech Republic has made great strides in its transition to a market economy over the past five years, foreign investors must understand the various legal and business aspects of the Czech market.

The Business Law Guide to the Czech Republic offers precise information about the tax and business-law systems of the Czech Republic. The Guide is written specifically for business people and companies and their advisers, including lawyers and accountants. The book provides a comprehensive overview of Czech business law, tax and accounting methods, and an introduction to the Czech political system.

The first chapter of the Guide provides a general introduction of the Czech Republic, including an overview of its historical and political background, and the future importance of the country. The authors briefly trace the Republic's history from the creation of an independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 through the communist seizure in 1948, the Velvet Revolution of 1989, and the separation of the Czech and Slovak states at midnight on December 31, 1992. The authors conclude this chapter with an overview of the Czech Republic's financial reforms and domestic-aid programs implemented after the separation from Slovenia.

The next several chapters give an overview of the Czech legal system, including specific laws that may affect foreign companies doing business in or with the Czech Republic. The authors begin by noting that the Republic has followed a "code-based" approach to its legislation, passing both the Commercial and Civil Codes. These codes provide the legal framework for the Republic. Next, the Guide examines those forms of business enterprises available to foreign participants. The Commercial Code authorizes six enterprises: joint stock companies; private limited-liability companies; general commercial partnerships; limited partnerships; cooperatives; and joint ventures. The Guide also examines other laws important to foreign companies, including privatization laws; competition legislation; general contractual provisions; banking laws; the Foreign Exchange Act and internal convertibility laws; and laws extending to the termination of an enterprise's activities. …